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Wednesday 28 October 2020 - 9:47pm

Pen Protesta Dia De Muertos 2020

  • Therteen Latin American countries celebrate the Day of the Dead and remember the journalists and writers killed in the region.
  • Latin-American authors join an international call to end impunity for crimes against journalists and writers and conduct investigations against these crimes. They also call on goverments to stop the threats and murders against journalists and writers.
  • PEN International launches its new Twitter @PEN_LAC, with information for the region.

PEN International and its Centres in Latin America and the Caribbean will mark the Day of the Dead in a series of events held between 29 October and 7 November 2020. During their events – held in the United States, Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Haiti, Paraguay, Ecuador, Argentina, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Bolivia – they will call on Latin American governments to break the cycle of impunity, and protect their journalists from persecution. They will also commemorate the lives of those who have been killed for exercising their right to freedom of expression and whose cases have gone unsolved.

“In a year in which death has touched all our lives through the pandemic, PEN International calls on the governments of the Americas and the Caribbean to respect freedom of expression and stop the harassment, imprisonment and murder of journalists and writers. PEN Protests / Day of the Dead honours heroic journalists who have lost their lives and who have been failed by their governments,” said Jennifer Clement, President of PEN International.

According to the UN, Latin America and the Caribbean is the second most dangerous region to work as a journalist, with at least 38 journalists from print or digital media killed between 2018 to 2020. Mexico and Brazil are the two countries in which it is most dangerous to be a journalist. More than 90% of these crimes remain unpunished.

On 2 November, PEN International also commemorates the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists; in this context, PEN calls on the authorities of 13 countries to protect their journalists and the right to freedom of expression as the path to democracy and peace. PEN also calls on governments to ensure justice for crimes against journalists.

Respect for human rights, and even more so for freedom of expression, has become urgent in the midst of the health crisis that we currently face globally. A free press, moreover, has proven key to an effective response to the health crisis, in light of its indispensable role in enabling access to information and promoting transparency. Every murder has an inhibitory effect on the journalism of each nation.

Latin American governments such as Cuba, Nicaragua or Venezuela have transformed the Covid-19 pandemic into an opportunity to create laws that inhibit freedom of expression. In countries like Mexico, Honduras and Brazil the murders of journalists continue to rise. PEN Protest - Day of the Dead is a call to stop the climate of impunity and aggression in the region, allowing the right to freedom of expression.



Thursday, 29 October


Centro PEN Ecuador (asp.)
"Elegy for Day of the Dead"
Thursday, 29 October, 18.30 hrs.
Facebook Live
Readings of contemporary literature. Participants: Ana Cordero Cueva, Juan Manuel Ramos, Rodrigo Aguilar O. Performance: Synnove Urgilez, Diego Martínez, with poetry written by Esthela García, Juan Fernando Bermeo and José Corral C., among others. More information here.

Friday, 30 October

PEN Guatemala
“Day of the Dead”
Friday, 30 October, 17.00 hrs.
Join the event in Zoom
PEN Guatemala remembers four journalists killed in the country: Roberto Martínez, Enrique Salazar Solórzano, Luis Díaz Pérez y Bryan Guerra.


Cuban Writers in Exile PEN Centre
Day of the Dead
Friday, 30 October, 20.00 hrs.
Lugar: Miami Hispanic Cultural Arts Center, 111 SW 5th Ave, Miami, FL 33130
Livestream on Facebook and YouTube
The Cuban Writers in Exile PEN Centre and the Miami Hispanic Cultural Arts Center are remembering the journalists killed in the region. Participants will read literature and the names of the journalists. Participants: Orlando Rossardi, Daniel Pedreira, Sara Martínez Castro, Ángel de Fana, Luis de la Paz, José Albertini, Matilde Álvarez y Wenceslao Cruz, among others.

Saturday, 31 October

PEN Argentina
#PoesíaEnTuSofá (Poetry on your sofa)
Saturday, 31 October, 19 hrs.
Event in Instagram: @poesiaentusofaarg Journalists disappeared and murdered in 2020 are commemorated by PEN members. Poetry Reading. Participant poets: Xel-Ha López Méndez, Hinde Pomeraniec, Ana María Shua, Susana Szwarc, Elisa Díaz Castelo, Ánuar Zúñiga Naime y Maru Drozd, among others.
More information: @poesiaentusofaarg #poesíaentusofá #poesíaentusofáargentina #poesíaencasa


Sunday, 1 November

Free the Word – Day of the Dead: “We Grieve and We Celebrate”
Sunday, 1 November, 8.30 hrs
Event available in Zoom
Poetry Reading. Poets from 17 countries. San Miguel de Allende PEN Centre and the Women Writers Committee of PEN International organise this event in memory of murdered journalists. Participants: Jazz Money, Teresa Cadete, Vera Botterbusch, Yirgalem Fisseha Mebrahtu, Elizabeth Torres, Kätlin Kaldmaa, Laura Hernández, Sushama Acharya, Jorge Luis González, Unoma Azuah, Germaine Beaulieu, Philip Dunkerley, Sheng Xue, Axel Reitel, Pamela Uschuk, Elsa Espinoza, Gémino H. Abad, Folu Agoi, Michelle Yeo, and Rae Marie Taylor.


PEN Haiti
“We will not forget” (“Nou Pap Bliye”)
Sunday, 1 November, 17.00-20.00 hrs.]
11, rue Levasseur – Delmas 75, Puerto Príncipe.
Live: Twitter @CentrePENHaiti | Instagram:
Panel “Freedom of Expression, freedom in danger”. Participants: Colette Lespinasse, Lyonel Trouillot, Herold Jean-Francois. Open mic. Poetry reading. Walk with candles.


PEN Honduras
“Altars in memory of journalists”
Sunday, 1 November. All day.
Journalists in Honduras will carry out on-site and virtual altars to commemorate their murdered colleagues and call on the authorities to ensure justice. Five altars will be created and shared with the community and the general public.

Monday, 2 November

Monday, 2 October
Video about violence against journalists
Video available on Facebook
Alessandro Zagato, Latin American Representative of PEN America, will talk about the risk faced by journalists in the region.


Centro PEN Nicaragua
“Día de los Muertos y contra la impunidad en los crímenes contra periodistas”
Lunes 2 de noviembre, 10.00 horas
Transmisión vía Facebook y Twitter.

El Centro PEN Nicaragua conmemora esta vez el 2 de noviembre con un video titulado “Día de los Muertos y contra la impunidad en los crímenes contra periodistas” y filmado en un cementerio de Managua. En el video, con guion y dirección de Gioconda Belli, participan cinco periodistas independientes muy conocidos y respetados, quienes, de pie entre las tumbas, van tomando la palabra para denunciar los asesinatos de sus colegas en América latina, la impunidad como política de los gobiernos, y las leyes que pretenden imponer una mordaza a la libertad de información.

PEN Guadalajara
PEN Protest / Tribute to journalists 2020
Monday, 2 November, 10.00 hrs.
Livestream: Youtube
Literary Reading, performance, altars and storytellers.


PEN Paraguay
“Way to the truth. Journalism and freedom of expression. Day of the Dead”
Monday 2 November, 19.00 hrs.

Facebook Live Panel on freedom of expression and journalists under threat in Paraguay. Participants: María Eugenia Ayala, President of PEN Paraguay. Panellists: Benjamín Fernández Bogado, Alcibiades González Delvalle, Noelia Díaz, Nelson Aguilera. With the participation of Andrés Colmán Gutierrez and Ignacio Martínez. Moderator: Fernando Pistilli, Performance by Luz Saldívar.


PEN Puerto Rico Internacional Centre
"PEN PR Challenge - Day of the Dead"
Monday, November 2, all day
Facebook: PEN de Puerto Rico International
PEN Centre invites to share content such as texts, news, stories, poems or videos related to writers and journalists who suffered persecution because of their writings or research.


PEN Venezuela/Espacio Público
"Day of the Dead - Violence against journalists"
Monday, 2 November, all day
Available on Twitter and Website of Espacio Público
PEN Venezuela and Espacio Público will launch videos with the testimonies of four journalists who are victims of violence and impunity in relation to their work. They are discussing the restrictions to freedom of expression in Venezuela with cases of journalists threatened or killed in the country.

Thursday 5 November

PEN Chiapas Multicultural Centre (asp.)
“El Ch’ulel del Chiapas Pluricultural”
5 November, 18.00 hrs.
The event will highlight the long historical process of struggles and recognition of the rights of indigenous journalists and communicators in Chiapas. During the event, two testimonial videos will be presented. One video focuses onindigenous people in different Mayan and zoques cities. The other video focuses on the “limpia” of Ch'ulel (soul), as the tradition of the Mayan peoples is described. There will also be a poetry reading. Participants: Enrique Pérez López, Angélica Altúzar, Manuel Bolom, Ameth Rivera, Cicerón Agular, Raúl Vera and José Espinosa, among others.

Friday, 6 November

PEN Venezuela / Espacio Público
Panel about journalists under threat and censored media
Thursday, 5 November, 9.30 hrs.
Livestream: YouTube
This panel addresses the motivations of journalists to continue reporting in the current context, as well as the challenges they face in Venezuela and how violence against journalists and media censorship affect citizens.

Saturday, 7 November

Centro PEN Bolivia
"The forbidden word"
Saturday 7 November
Subsidiaries: Cochabamba and PEN Bolivia in Tarija, Oruro and Chuquisaca.
PEN Bolivia celebrates the Day of the Dead with a panel on the dangers faced by Bolivian journalists and writers and a video about the Andean traditions around the Day of the Dead.


Monday, 9 November

NICARAGUA PEN Nicaragua and Fundación Violeta Barrios de Chamorro
"The truth is not silent"
Tuesday, 3 November 17.00 hrs.
Livestream: Facebook PEN Nicaragua y Facebook de la Fundación
In tribute to the Latin American journalists who have given their lives in the exercise of press freedom, journalists Cindy Regidor, Amalia del Cid and Juan Carlos Duarte will converse live on the social networks of Fundación Violeta Barrios de Chamorro and PEN Nicaragua.


Tuesday, 10 November

PEN Chiapas Pluricultural Centre
"Voices from Chul'el"
Tuesday, 10 November 18.00 hrs.
Indigenous traditions related to Day of the Dead.